When A Former Bully from School Asked Me Out

stop bullying

Today, I would have just told him “No” and let that be the end of it. The year was 1997 and I was 26 years old and seven years post high school when I ran into a guy who had harassed me mercilessly during high school. During that time I was lead singer of a band and we were doing a show at a nightclub in Memphis. It was during a fifteen-minute break between sets that I ran into him and I’ll have to admit, he was very charming, displaying the very charm which had allowed him to go undetected and escape accountability all those years ago.

I was cordial to him as I’d been to everyone who had come to watch the band. However, when he asked me out, instead of feeling honored, I felt quite insulted. My first thoughts were:

“You’ve got some nerve, buddy!”

“Do you not remember all the times during school you helped make me feel completely worthless?”

Nope refuse

“Do you not remember all the horrible names you called me? All the taunts? The jokes?”

“What make’s you think that I’d be even REMOTELY interested?”

Honestly, I would’ve had to be either stupid or desperate to go on a date with the likes of him and I believed his reasoning for it was one of either three things:

1. It was much safer for him to take me out now that we were out of school and he no longer had to face the old high school clique on a daily basis.

2. He thought I was desperate.

3. He thought I was easy.

This only made me angrier. Then I smiled and said, “Let’s talk about it after the show.”

After the show ended, we talked and I agreed to go on a date with him the following weekend. We agreed to meet at a restaurant in a neighboring town. Only I never showed up.

thumbing nose

When he called me the next day and wanted to know why I had stood him up, informing me that he’d waited for over an hour, my response was,

“You don’t know? You don’t remember all the times you made me feel so bad about myself during school? You don’t remember all the horrible names you called me? You don’t remember all the times you joined everyone else in humiliating me during school? You knew I was hurting and you didn’t give a damn! You knew I was dying inside and you didn’t care! Well, how does it feel, buster?” I shouted.

He apologized profusely, over and over again. But at that time, I just wasn’t ready to forgive him.

It was a rotten thing to do to someone, I know. However, at that time, I wasn’t as mature as I am now and I just had to make a point.

It took a while but things worked out in the end. I eventually forgave him and we became close friends.

20 thoughts on “When A Former Bully from School Asked Me Out

    • You’re absolutely right. It took me over 20 years. And I forgave them but I haven’t forgotten. I’d still never go to a reunion because I just don’t trust them. And since I’ve published a memoir about it, I’ve gotten threats via messenger from a few old classmates for writing about it. So it wouldn’t be wise for me to let them around me or go around them.

  1. I think you hit on a couple of key things here. One, the guy bullied you relentlessly. We aren’t talking about an isolated incident but constant attacks. And then all of a sudden when you shower some musical success he is interested. Yet back then he was too cowardly to admit he probably liked you in school or wanted to follow the popular crowd. You made him think and that’s a good thing

  2. That was awesome. One Christmas when my ex-friend called me and tried “restore our friendship” — i.e. regain control of me — I just hung up on him. Wasn’t interested in anything he had to say.

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